looking through old photographs
October 11, 2008 6:08 PM   Subscribe

People sleeping, gently vulnerable and evocative, vintage photographs.

Snowball's blog is packed full of interesting photographs: I love this one and this. Naughty Marilyn Monroe [nsfw], retro, kids, teens, from the time of the Russian invasion in Afghanistan, concentration camps.
posted by nickyskye (50 comments total) 39 users marked this as a favorite

 
RAWR!

Neato find nickyskye!
posted by Eekacat at 6:17 PM on October 11, 2008


Hey, come on. Some of these people are DEAD.

Nice post, nicky!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:18 PM on October 11, 2008


These are cool photos, nicky. Thanks...
posted by Stewriffic at 6:20 PM on October 11, 2008


Sleeping, like most other things, is much stranger in Japan.
posted by Rhaomi at 6:24 PM on October 11, 2008 [4 favorites]


Haha! Rhaomi, I've taken a few pix here in Japan, over the years, of people sleeping, some of them very similar to what we see in your link. This is one of the most sleep-deprived nations on earth, apparently, and it's not at all unusual to see people sacked out like this. And, with the virtual lack of crime, it's not especially dangerous for folks to catch a nap on a bench or a subway train or wherever, often with their briefcase or purse or shopping bags in full, easily-abscondable view.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:31 PM on October 11, 2008


wow!
posted by vronsky at 6:34 PM on October 11, 2008


Google image search: "people sleeping".

For some reason I find these images mildly disturbing. I don't know why. Some of my best friends sleep.
posted by twoleftfeet at 6:39 PM on October 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


That Marilyn photo is great.
posted by device55 at 6:43 PM on October 11, 2008


I wonder if their dreams were ever fulfilled? Excellent post, thank you!
posted by scarello at 6:55 PM on October 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


For some reason I find these images mildly disturbing.

Possibly because there is someone taking pictures of these people while they sleep, unaware of what is going on? That's what bothers me.
posted by Auguris at 7:00 PM on October 11, 2008


flapjax at midnite: "Haha! Rhaomi, I've taken a few pix here in Japan, over the years, of people sleeping, some of them very similar to what we see in your link. This is one of the most sleep-deprived nations on earth, apparently, and it's not at all unusual to see people sacked out like this."

It does strike me as weird, though. I thought the Japanese in general were obsessed with propriety and public image, and you'd think that falling asleep in the middle of the train station floor would go against that, especially if you're a businessman. But if they're as overworked as their academic standards and train schedules seem to suggest, then maybe it's been forced to become a socially acceptable thing.

I'd love to live in a place where it was safe enough to do something like that, by the way...
posted by Rhaomi at 7:06 PM on October 11, 2008


Excellent find, nickyskye! See also: Subway Snooze
posted by not_on_display at 7:28 PM on October 11, 2008


(also: my son, asleep)
posted by not_on_display at 7:31 PM on October 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


Most of them look uncomfortably contorted
posted by stbalbach at 7:36 PM on October 11, 2008


again, wow. That is the best set of photographs I have seen on mefi in ages Nicky.
posted by vronsky at 7:38 PM on October 11, 2008


Milo. What a great name :)
posted by vronsky at 7:40 PM on October 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


He's a handsome boy, not_on_display. Say hello to him for me.
posted by nickyskye at 7:40 PM on October 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Previously, there were the pictures of the mortal coil, and then we move onto pets.
posted by Xurando at 7:41 PM on October 11, 2008 [1 favorite]



All these people are dead now.
posted by bukharin at 7:45 PM on October 11, 2008


Restful.
posted by buzzman at 7:54 PM on October 11, 2008


just stumbled upon this Nicky. (scroll down to the Loretta Lux and the Sally Mann.
posted by vronsky at 8:15 PM on October 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Me, asleep. Also not dead though I am aware I look that way. Great link nicky.
posted by jessamyn at 8:16 PM on October 11, 2008 [3 favorites]


God ... sleep is so wonderful, isn't it? I need to get more of it.
posted by jbickers at 8:19 PM on October 11, 2008


That is the cutest thing I have ever seen Jess :)
posted by vronsky at 8:27 PM on October 11, 2008


awww jess, such a sweetly sound asleep noo noo. Pleased you like the link.
posted by nickyskye at 8:33 PM on October 11, 2008


I love this, what a great find. Thanks!
posted by thatbrunette at 8:47 PM on October 11, 2008


"It is from Anna Karenina, and it is a nice example of self plagiarism. In that novel not one but two babies--Levin's and Anna's--are described as looking as if string is tied around their fat little arms. Likewise in David Copperfield, Dickens likens Uriah Heep's open mouth to a post office, and Wemmick's open mouth, in great expectations--to a post office. Stendhal writes, in The Red And The Black, about how politics ruins a novel in the way a gunshot would spoil a music concert, and then repeats the image in The Charterhouse of Parma. Henry James wrote that Balzac, in his monkish devotion to his art, was a "Benedictine of the actual," a phrase he liked so much he used it later about Flaubert. Cormac McCarthy writes, in Blood Meridian, "the blue cordilleras stood footed in their paler image in the sand," and returns to that lovely verb seven years later in Al The Pretty Horses: "Where a pair of herons stood footed to their long shadow." Why shouldn't he? Such things are rarely examples of haste and more often proof that a style has achieved self-consistency. And that a Platonic ideal has been reached--these are the best, and therefore unsurpassable words, for these subjects." james woods - how fiction works
posted by vronsky at 8:52 PM on October 11, 2008


I've slept in public before. It's not a big deal if you're not carrying a laptop or something around with you—just buy pants with a button on the back pocket for your wallet.
posted by sonic meat machine at 9:18 PM on October 11, 2008


Reminds me of AnaCam.
posted by caddis at 10:04 PM on October 11, 2008


@Jessamyn, your hair was seriously awesome in '85.
posted by roger ackroyd at 11:34 PM on October 11, 2008


She still has beautiful hair. Yeah and love that pink satin long shirt Jess wore in '85.
posted by nickyskye at 11:54 PM on October 11, 2008


Evocative, definitely. I really liked the one of the two men--father and son?--sleeping sitting up on a couch, heads tilted the exact same way.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 1:21 AM on October 12, 2008


Heh, jess! Here's yours truly. I do remember how good it felt to just crash right then & there.
posted by yoga at 6:18 AM on October 12, 2008


Holy crap, I just walked through that same doorway in Dachau yesterday.

it was pretty messed up.
posted by dunkadunc at 6:37 AM on October 12, 2008


Mmmmm...Marilyn.
posted by hojoki at 7:31 AM on October 12, 2008


awww yoga.

And omg dunkadunc.
posted by nickyskye at 8:13 AM on October 12, 2008


Oh, nickyskye, it's so good to have you around again! Thanks!
posted by trip and a half at 10:38 AM on October 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


The idea of never watching someone sleep again could be a cause of infinite sadness, for some. It's so intimate.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 10:42 AM on October 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


I find sleeping people creepy. Not quite dead, not quite dead enough.
posted by snookums at 11:09 AM on October 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


snookums, but there's that lovely slow breathing of sleep, so peaceful. And snoring, the silliness of observing another's REM stage, all that funny dream twitching and knowing that in fact a sleeping person is in the process of charging their battery, their beautiful lifeforce.
posted by nickyskye at 12:24 PM on October 12, 2008


This is the sort of thing that discourages us of less talent from seriously blogging :)

I loved the image in the first link, very evocative.
posted by pjern at 2:24 PM on October 12, 2008


All you really need is a tarp and a box of Cheez-its.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 2:49 PM on October 12, 2008


Wait, the images under teen look really familiar... I can't find the post but if I recall there was a previous Mefi post featuring them. I seem to remember that the photographer was the girl's father who took pictures of her all through her childhood into early adulthood. I just really had a deja vu of seeing her get increasingly goth & sad looking as she started out young and gradually took up black eyeliner and smoking as she aged.
posted by miss lynnster at 3:00 PM on October 12, 2008


Say hey miss lynnster *waving

Your curiosity made me look at the credit on the first photograph, "Jack Radcliffe". Went to google, put in his name + Metafilter and hey presto, a post about the photographs he took of his daughter, Alison.
posted by nickyskye at 3:28 PM on October 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


awwww.... ;)
posted by vronsky at 3:54 PM on October 12, 2008


Oh man vronsky, those are utterly adorable photographs of incredibly beautiful children! All snuggled up. Oh YAY happy snuggling.
posted by nickyskye at 5:01 PM on October 12, 2008


The weird thing is, every single one of the people in the photographs were dreaming the same dream - of a future, long after they have died, where there is a world brain machine that will allow future people to see pictures of them while they are asleep. Dreams sure are strange.
posted by jetsetsc at 6:02 PM on October 12, 2008 [6 favorites]


Sleeping and dead people!
posted by mippy at 6:04 AM on October 13, 2008


People sleeping in public places are the best. I'm particularly fond of workers with hats over their faces or still on their heads. Once, I stumbled upon a herder in the mountains near Lake Tso Moriri in India on top of a ridge where I hadn't expected to see anyone at all, face-down and half-curled. Luckily the goats didn't give me away. Being asleep might just be humanity's best side.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 11:30 AM on October 13, 2008


Jorge Pardo (nice)
posted by vronsky at 6:16 PM on October 14, 2008


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